Day 16. Skagoset to Kongsberg.
Distance 77.4km/h Average 16.9km/h.
We awoke later than usual and had a breakfast of rommegrøt. One of our fellow course members praised it as a foodstuff, so we had bought some the evening before in Rødberg. It was certainly warm and full of calories but very heavy going. As Damae put it in her diary "We were not rained on and left after a rommegrøt breakfast at eleven. Boy does that stuff ever hit the stomach hard. Great way to eat jam though."
We had a short climb to start the day, according to Damae and at the top of another climb paused to take a couple of pictures. The road surfaces were good and the weather hazy and warm. After Uvdal we kept on seeing those grain stores all over the place. The landscape was to change constantly through the day. The road was nominally going downhill following the Numedalslågen to the sea.
After an hour or so we hit Veggeli where we saw the famous cycle train. From here you can cycle all the way to Rodberg using this unusual form of transport. As we had just come from that direction we had no interest in going back, even if we could have found the place that sold tickets. However I am sure it would be fun to do the trip one day especially with some small Damae and Stan clones in tow.
Whilst we were waiting two young Austrian cyclists asked us for directions. They just had a standard road map and were going to cycle up towards Bergen. They were unaware that you could not cycle through some tunnels. To think that we thought we were unprepared. Still the innocence of youth and all that.
I think it was in this section that we crossed over the river on a new cycle bridge and stopped just to re-adjust our clothing. Then heading on up and down up and down we arrived around lunchtime at the stave church at Rollag. We bumped into the same guide that had told us about Uvdal the day before.
We asked lots of questions probably too many and got some interesting information about the valley and the economics of living there. Farmers are reliant on subsidies from the state as otherwise you just cannot make ends meet.
We heard from the guide that the local councils are trying to encourage the building of holiday homes for people from the cities. The idea is that these villages will stimulate the service sector of the local economy. For example wooden houses need painting regularly so this would keep local painters in business. More people in the area means more custom for local shops, and during the construction phase there is more work for local builders.